That’s just deep, Man!

Well, relatively speaking.

Still, the snow is deep enough that the deer were struggling to get through. They were very happy to find the paths we’ve dug!

I spotted about 11 outside cats this morning. Potato Beetle came out of the sun room when I went out to make sure the deer coming into the yard weren’t going for the kibble. He happily went back in when I finished my morning rounds.

After feeding the critters, I started to do a bit of shoveling on the main paths. While clearing in front of the sun room, I accidentally caught the shovel on something, making a loud noise, startling the cats in the kibble house. There was an explosion of cats as they all ran off.

Except Ghost Baby, who took advantage of the situation, planted herself in a kibble tray and kept on eating!

That is so completely the opposite of how she has been in the past. Before, if you so much as looked directly at her, she’d ghost away. I think she’s finally learning that it’s safe to eat while we’re around.

One of the potential plans for the day was to take little Spewie out and start clearing the driveway. I’m not so sure if that’s happen, though. It’s going to be another chilly day, but it’s more an issue of wind. Things are supposed to be calmer tomorrow, but also warmer, which means the snow blower is more likely to struggle with the snow. *sigh* Still, it needs to get done.

I’ve heard from my brother that my nephew and his family are still making the drive out. The highways are open all along their route, so they’re going for it. I do wish they’d just cancelled. He is confident in making the drive, though. They should arrive late tonight. I figure, if they are willing to make the trip, the least we can do is clear our driveway so that I can drive my mother out to meet her newest great-grandbaby!

Whether the snow blowing happens today or tomorrow, when that’s not being worked on, we’ll be going through the seedlings. Some of them, like the Crespo squash and the second planting of Wonderberry, are outgrowing their starter pots. I picked up larger versions of the pots that can be just buried in the ground when it’s time to transplant, so we’ll be able to pot them up with little to no root disturbance. We might have some space issues, not just for the bigger pots, but their heights. Looking at the long and short range forecasts, though, we should be able to start putting more pots in the sun room. How well the one Wonderberry plant is doing is quite encouraging. It makes me wonder if the thermometer on the wall is reading on the cold side. It’s right against the wall, and one of the window’s it is above lost its inner pane before we ever moved here, so it might be reading temperatures that don’t reflect other parts of the room.

Oh, I totally forgot to take a picture! I’ll have to go back later. The Wonderberry in the sun room has actually started to bloom! With the sun room being so much cooler than inside the mini-greenhouse, I’d thought it would slow down in growth, but it seems to be quite enjoying the condition in the sun room, and thriving!

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, for a Wonderberry to be blooming already. We won’t be able to transplant it outside for at least another month! There are no pollinators for it. Which means I should probably prune the flower buds off, so its growth can focus on foliage.

Not until I’ve taken a picture of the pretty white flowers. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning Visitors

I meant to post this earlier, but my friend is still in town and I was able to meet up with her at the last minute. We had a grand time!

It was getting dark by the time I was heading home, which meant being extremely cautious about deer! At one point, I passed at least 5 standing on the edge of the highway but, thankfully, they did not try to cross.

I put together some of the better videos from the gate cam, showing our morning visitors. I hope you like it! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

I couldn’t resist

I’ve made more videos in the past few days than I have in ages! I just can’t resist those deer images!

This is a short one; I did resist including more of the files of deer from the trail cams.

I love how they came so close to the camera! I don’t think they’ll be able to do that after today, though. It’s warmed up enough that I think they’ll start sinking, if they try.

The other trail cam had a deer go close by, too. The snow has finally melted enough that they can get through to that area again. 😀

I think we can officially say we’ve seen more deer this year, than we have since we moved out here.

The Re-Farmer

A whole parade of them!

I haven’t been going out to the sign cam to switch memory cards for the last few days, due to the weather conditions and the path being blown in as much as it was, but I finally was able to get out there today.

It was just a few days, but there were over 300 files to check out!

Yes, they were mostly of deer. A whole parade of them!

I couldn’t resist. I put them together into a video.

So. Many. Deer!!!

The Re-Farmer

It’s party time!

I checked the files for the security camera, which is set to email images to me when the motion detector is triggered, and made an amazing discovery.

After I headed into town to pick up Chinese food for supper, there was a bit ol’ party in our driveway!

That is just wild!!!

It should be interesting when I check the gate cam files, tomorrow!

The Re-Farmer

Morning finds, and a majestic visitor

There’s always a little something, when I do my morning rounds! 😀

My husband had been able to take care of the cats earlier, so when I got out, I just have to put out feed for the birds (and deer). By the time I came out, however, I found the new heated water bowl had been knocked over. There had to have been some sort of altercation at the entry of the cats’ house, because even the brick supports around it had gone flying, and the power cord to the bowl had been pulled out.

Not only was the new bowl empty, but the water in the other bowls was frozen solid!

Something better had to be found.

I quickly went to feed the birds, thinking about it, and noticed the chimney liners along the side of the house. Since cleaning up the pile behind the house, we’ve been using these to hold the insulation that gets put around the house every winter.

They were just the right size and shape. Was there one we could spare?

Not on that side of the house, so I came back around and looked at the ones along the back of the house. We have other things set up against the house to help keep the insulation from being blown away, so I was able to find one that looked like we could spare.

It’s the perfect size and shape!

The bowl is so big, I added bricks as spacers between it and the shelter. The cats immediately were all over it, until I refilled the other water bowls, too. They were very thirsty!

We will have to plug the bowl back in later, once there are two people available. With the snow accumulation, the counterweight doesn’t quite reach the ground, so one person has to hold up the roof while the other does what needs to be done, inside. When we do our monthly shop, we’ll pick up a short, appropriate extension cord that can be safely used, so we can at least not have to worry about the cord being unplugged. Not too short, though. I want to run it along the frame of the shelter, just under the roof, so there will be no issue with the cats knocking it about, and no critters chewing on it.

Thanks to my daughter digging out more paths, I was able to get at the back of the garage and the outhouse. To clear access to the outhouse, my daughter had to break up that fallen piece of tree. It was warm enough to no longer be quite frozen to the ground, but that’s as far as it’s going to be moved until, most likely, spring.

When switching out the memory card in the trail cam by the new sign, I noticed these tracks. Something had walked towards the corner, stopped, then turned around. At first, I thought they were foot prints, they were so big. That didn’t seem likely, given the piles of snow from the plow. Not even our vandal is that dedicated to causing problems! The question was, did whatever made it go far enough to trigger the motion sensor on the trail cam?

The answer is, yes!

Would you look at that majestic beauty!!

While doing my rounds and seeing deer tracks, I had been noticing some hoof prints much larger than the others. I’d say, we’ve captured the beast that made them! And what a handsome fella he is!

I’m pretty sure we’ve been seeing this same buck visiting our place since we moved here. If it is, this would be the fifth winter of visits from him. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

A deer appearance

It’s been a while to see deer in the trail cams, but this morning, I saw a whole bunch!

These were the first to come by.

It’s really hard to tell, but there is a third deer on the other side of the fence. They like to slip between the barbed while in this spot.

The little one nearer the fence, which would have been born this spring, went through, but the adult in the foreground ended up waking off towards the driveway.

Then this guy showed up…

A handsome three point buck!

What a catch! I rarely use image enhancement on my photos (mostly because I don’t know how and don’t care enough to learn), but I did use the auto fix in my software on these ones, so you could better see the deer jumping the fence.

The “light” behind him is actually a reflection. That’s our driveway marker, which shows up in the infrared flash looking like a bright light.

In previous years, we would be buying deer feed and including it with the bird seed at the feeding station outside our living room window, but with our mild temperatures this year, there has been no need. We’ll probably start supplementing them once there is snow on the ground that stays. Which may not be until mid-November, if the long range forecasts are right!

The Re-Farmer

Not a happy critter!

While heading back and forth between garden and house today, passing by the hanging bird feeder, I kept disturbing woodchucks, eating the sunflower seeds on the ground. I saw all four of them today, including the little one the girls had told me about. A few times, there were two of them at the bird seed at once.

Usually, they’d run off into the spruces, or under the garden shed. Then one of them decided to run along the back of the house, where we still have a row of various things used to hold the insulation we put around the based of the house in the winter. We just kept forgetting to move them. :-/ The little bugger decided to hide in the ceramic chimney inserts, running from one to the other, then back again. I didn’t want him using the house as a place to hide, so I tried to get him to go elsewhere, but he just wouldn’t leave the inserts.

I got close enough that I could have touched that angry looking face (not that I would have!), and he still wouldn’t run off! I finally had to get a long stick and basically shepherd him along before he finally ran to the garden shed.

Of the various woodchucks we’ve seen, there’s just the one that tends to freeze in a sort of panic mode, rather than run off like the others. He was especially unhappy that Nutmeg was with me. Nutmeg completely ignored him and kept trying to rub against me to pet him, even when the woodchuck tried running his way, saw him, froze and started to… growl? I’m not sure how to describe the noise it made!

Among the things I’ve read to use to keep woodchucks from eating the garden is to scatter cat hair around the plants, because cats are their natural predators. Which I find hilarious. The woodchucks are bigger than any of our yard cats! They also seem to get along just fine. I even saw a woodchuck drinking from the water bowl we have by the junk pile for Butterscotch and her kittens.

Cheeky little buggers.

Also… just look at that hand in the photo!!! 😀

The Re-Farmer

So many deer!

The deer are out in full force!

We’re actually seeing a lot more than usual, for this time of year. Particularly at our main gate. With how dry this winter had been, I suspect they are hunting for water sources.

These ones were caught on the trail cam a couple of evenings ago.

Can you spot all six of them?

There was a seventh one, but it jumped the fence on the far side of the gate before the last three reached the road. They won’t jump the gate, though they are clearly curious about it. They much prefer going through, or over, the barbed wire fence.

This next image was captured just this morning.

The arrow points out the second deer going through the ditch. In the video file, taken after this still shot, a third deer is seen in the trees in the background, jumping the fence from inside the old hay yard. Not far from there is where there is an old dugout that would normally have water in it, this time of year. Which is why I think we’re seeing more deer because they’re searching for water. There isn’t even mud there right now. 😦 There is an old dugout on my brother’s property, across the road, not far from his gate. I suspect there isn’t much water there, either.

An interesting thing I’m noticing about the new trail camera. The camera’s internal temperature readings can be very different from the ambient temperature. For example, in the second photo, it reads -8C/18F Our overnight temperatures did not get that low last night.

The Re-Farmer

Morning smiles – and a surprise!

When visiting the kittens this morning, I was viciously attacked!

By a Nicco! 😀

Saffron has one eye that is a bit gooby, so I took the time to clean and medicate it. Then, after they’d all had a chance to devour some wet cat food, they all went after my legs!

They are tearing my clothes to shreds. 😀

Also, they really, really like my shoelaces.

Even Beep Beep got in on the action!

For a cat that has spent her entire life outdoors, she is really taking to this “inside” thing – and having access to people to cuddle!

Later on, while checking the trail cam files, I found a lovely surprise.

Other than discovering that FedEx made a delivery after we got home yesterday, and left a package shoved into the gate. I never even saw it, when I did my rounds! If I hadn’t seen the video, I would never have known until this afternoon. I was expecting it to come in the mail, tomorrow.

No, it was this surprise that really made me smile.

That baby is so adorable!!!

They found a spot in the fence where they can both squeeze through the barbed wire, without the mom having to jump it.

The baby can fit through any part of the fence, just by ducking its head. 😀

So sweet!

Also, there’s a package in the middle of that gate. It was shoved into the chain.

Even while walking up the driveway this morning, knowing it was there, I couldn’t see it until I was almost right at the gate!

At least FedEx can find our place. Unlike UPS. !!

Lots to smile about, this morning. 🙂

The Re-Farmer